A Northumberland premiere of Silent Voices from the forthcoming second series of ITV’s major mystery drama Vera provided the platform to showcase how production benefits the North East tourism industry.
An audience of industry professionals, Local Government officials and press previewed the new drama, which was initially brought to the North East after a £30k investment and production support from Northern Film & Media. Northern Film & Media facilitated filming by partnering closely with several of the region’s Local Authorities, including Northumberland County Council, who were co-hosts of the event at Queen’s Hall, Hexham.
Guests heard how the first series of Vera had an advertising value of around £90 million and delivered major international publicity for the North East. Male Lead David Leon and Whitley Bay-based Vera author Ann Cleeves were also present to discuss their experiences of working on the popular drama.
“Our initial investment in, and ongoing support of Vera has boosted the North East’s drama infrastructure with a distinctive, returnable series that benefits the economy, creates jobs and presents our region to potential visitors across the globe,” said Tom Harvey, Northern Film & Media’s chief executive.
“Dramas filmed here in the past 18 months month have attracted combined viewing figures of 76 million in the UK alone and we expect the forthcoming series of Vera to grow the show’s already impressive viewing figures.”
Councillor Neil Bradbury, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for culture and tourism said: “Filming in the area, whether it be for a TV commercial or a Hollywood blockbuster, brings with it the type of publicity that no amount of money can buy. There are great spin-offs throughout the local tourism industry and the economy, as history has proved.
“When the first series of Vera hit the nation’s screens it attracted viewing figures in the region of 6.6 million which is fantastic showcase for Northumberland.”
Northumberland County Council is a member of Northern Film & Media’s Filming Friendly initiative, which commits signatories to facilitate production wherever possible. The charter signature of Northumberland County Council established the UK’s first filming friendly production destination in May 2010.